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Radio AM to FM: January 21, 2000

Goodbye Charlie

Morning man Charlie Van Dyke and KRTH (101.1 FM) will be parting ways within six months as Van Dyke decides he wants to exit and KRTH decides he wasn't really the man for the job after all.

It was with great fanfare and expectations that KRTH hired Van Dyke a little over a year ago to replace the late legend, Robert W. Morgan. Morgan had passed away from lung cancer and KRTH tried out numerous personalities in the slot before deciding on Van Dyke.

In hindsight, it was a bad decision. Van Dyke has a family and successful voice-over business in Phoenix, and he really didn't want to move his family and live in Los Angeles full-time. Eventually he had a studio built in his Phoenix home and began doing the majority of his broadcasts not from the KRTH studios, but from his living room hundreds of miles away.

At the same time, KRTH began a programming downfall, uncertain what music to play and adjusting the format almost monthly. Combined with the decline in popularity of rock oldies in general, as well as the unlocalized sound that permeated out of the KRTH morning studios, and you have a problem:

Low ratings.

So in an attempt to bolster the program's popularity, KRTH management decided to ask (or demand, depending upon who you ask) Van Dyke to do his show from Los Angeles. Van Dyke, fed up with the whole thing anyway, decided he really didn't want to do that. So the two parties decided to take advantage of the "out" in Van Dyke's three-year contract. Van Dyke will finish out the next six months in Los Angeles; KRTH will then announce a replacement.

Who will be that replacement? The primary name being thrown around is Charlie Tuna ... IF Tuna wants to board what many consider a sinking ship. One name I always like to throw around is Bobby Ocean, who was last heard on KWST (now KPWR, 105.9 FM) in 1982 but is to this day one of my favorite personalities. Both he and Tuna would be great choices ... except for that sinking problem.

Speaking of Morning Shows

The hot rumor right now has low-rated KLSX (97.1 FM) afternoon personality Jonathon Brandmeier moving over to mornings at KCBS-FM (93.1 FM), pushing Joe Benson to another slot on the "classic rock" station.

Just what Los Angeles needs ... another lousy morning talk show. Isn't is bad enough that Brandmeier stunk up KLSX (admittedly a tough thing to do since KLSX has stunk for years)? Now KCBS-FM appears ready to join the fray.

Into The Groove

Fans of Groove Radio, heard most recently on KACD/KBCD (103.1 FM), can rejoice. With a good computer (well, ok, Windows boxes will work too) and an internet connection, Groove fans from around the world can tune into Swedish Egil's and hear live programming 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

While I was never a fan of the Groove sound, I have to say this is one impressive site. The sound can be heard via your choice of Quicktime 4, RealAudio, or Windows Media Player And the sound quality, at least on my Mac G3 connected to a cable modem, is nothing short of phenomenal.

Personalities are DJ Dave (2-6 am), Alan Freed (6-10 AM), Christian B (10 am-2 pm), Swedish Egil (2-6 pm), Holly Adams (6-10 pm) and Dave Dresdan (10 pm-2 am except Fridays, when Groove Radio International airs).


KACE's (103.9 and 98.3 FM) last day is scheduled to be January 31st. Fans of the station should run tape on it beginning now.


Copyright © 2000 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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